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Wide White: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Do stupid questions run in your family?

If you have twins, you've been asked, "So, do twins run in your family?" If you've met someone who has twins, you've probably asked that question. Heck, I've probably asked that question.

And those with twins have probably been asked this question at least once a week. For those who've been parents of twins for more than 4 1/2 months, please tell me this question stops.

Here are some answers I've come up with.

1. They do now! [I tend to use this one the most.]
2. Not yet, they aren't even walking yet.
3. Do pointless questions run in your family? [Answer a question with a question, always a nice tactic.]
4. No, but we knew we'd have twins anyway. We figured our family was due.

Seriously, why does it matter? If they did run in my family, does that mean I would have bought a double stroller as soon as the pregnancy test came back positive? If they didn't run in my family, would I have lived in a state of denial until the birth, knowing there was NO WAY a family in which twins didn't run could possibly come up with twins!?

The full answer: Jamie's family has minimal history of twins (she has to dig back into great-grandparents and other very extended relatives before any twins show up in the family tree). There are a few twins on my mom's side of the family (my cousins are twins), but since I'm not the one producing two eggs in this relationship, my family history is completely irrelevant as to whether or not we're genetically likely to have twins.

One of the worst questions came at the hospital of all places. A nurse at the front desk actually asked, "Are they Clomid twins?"

Really?!? Who asks someone what method they used to conceive their children? And how do you respond? "Nope, we went au naturel. Lots of time in bed together, no meds needed to make these little guys happen."

There is one advantage to all of these twins questions. If you're someone whose wit is always a half-step too slow, don't worry. You'll have plenty of opportunities to refine your answer to the questions you will hear over and over and over...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The difference a year makes

I was just going through old posts on a separate blog I started the day I found out we were pregnant. I couldn't believe that was only a year ago. It got me going on everything that's happened in the last year.

June 16, 2009 - Jamie and I found out we were expecting a baby (or so we thought...)
October 1, 2009 - Jamie and I found out we were actually expecting 2 babies.
January 11, 2010 - I started a new job.
February 11, 2010 - Carson and Keira are born.

Of course, other things have happened along the way. A 2-week road trip and cruise last fall is a highlight. Our first big trip with the kids down to St. Louis a few weeks ago is up there. I laugh now at us driving through the night in harsh weather to my parents' so we could be there for breakfast and gifts Christmas morning. Jamie was 7 months pregnant.

Ultimately, I'm struck by how well things have gone for me. I remember how concerned I was about finances when I first learned we were pregnant. One month to the day before the kids were born I started a job that covered our estimated post-baby expenses almost to the penny, which was critical since Jamie quit her job when the kids were born. Things like that have just fallen into place.

My life is good. I have no complaints. Sometimes I have to wonder though, why are things so good for me? It's certainly not because I'm such a great person. What about those in circumstances far worse than mine who live lives much better than mine?

I realize that Christianity isn't about cause and effect. It's not a works-based game of "put in this much, get this much in return." But still, don't you wonder sometimes? We're told that you reap what you sow, but others have sown much better than I have with lesser rewards.

Anyway, it's been a year full of many changes, but I couldn't be happier to be where I am today.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Minnesota Merge

Minnesotans are nice people in general - nice enough to warrant the cultural nickname "Minnesota Nice."

But sometimes Minnesota Nice is just Minnesota Stupid.

For a perfect example of this, try driving any Twin Cities freeway. Be sure you're in rush hour, a construction zone, a cloverleaf interchange, or any other situation involving merging. Among other things you will find:

1. People entering the freeway at 40 MPH, despite the 1/2 mile on ramp they had to get up to freeway speed.
2. 3 lanes reduced to 2 at the slightest sign of a lane closure ahead. "MERGE 2 MILES" is clearly intended to say "MERGE NOW," right? Um, no. Studies have consistently shown that traffic moves faster if you wait to merge until your lane runs out, but what do those collegiate study types really know?
3. A blinker kept blinking for a 1/2 mile as its car's driver crawls along, timidly waiting for space the size of an 18-wheeler before she finally agrees to merge. This gets even more fun once she's within 2 miles from her exit...

Minnesotans, you don't have to be aggressive and mean to learn how to take a lane! It's OK. Go ahead and take it. You won't lose your Minnesota Nice by scrapping your Minnesota Merge.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You have twins? I have a question...

Our twins are 4 months old now. I'm sure the general public will find more questions to ask us, but here are a few of the better ones that we've been asked, followed by the snarky answers I give in my head.

In case you've forgotten, it's important to note that we have one boy and one girl.

Q1: Is it two boys?
A1: Yes, it is. We're dressing the one in pink because he told us he's gay and requested more flavor in his wardrobe.

Q2: [After being told it's a boy and a girl.] Are they identical?
A2: Blank stare.

Q3: Oh, they're so cute! Do you get stopped a lot when you're out in public?
A3: Hey Jamie, someone else finally noticed them!

Q4: [To my wife halfway through the pregnancy.] So, because you're having twins, does that mean you'll get bigger?
A4: Nope, we're just keeping them malnourished so it'll look like we're only having one.

There are really only two ways to communicate verbally:

1. Think, speak
2. Speak, think

For the love of everyone with twins, please, please general public, try to think before you speak. We're more than happy to show off our children, but please do what you can to make that a little easier on us all.

Or, continue to baffle and entertain us with your questions.

(And seriously, I was warned but am still amazed at how often I'm asked if my boy/girl twins are identical. It's at least once a week.)

If you want to read what other twins parents hear in public, check out Jamie's December post on stupid questions.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Minnesota surfing

Did you know you can surf in Minnesota? An old co-worker posted this from the weekend out at a lake near us. The first guy is great!

Who needs the Pacific Ocean when you've got Prior Lake?

Friday, June 18, 2010

First Father's Day

I guess Father's Day is kind of a big deal.

Growing up, I don't remember really doing anything for my dad on Father's Day. I can distinctly remember picking the same kind of flower that grew every year around Mother's Day in the woods near our house. I remember taking care of the meals for my mom on Mother's Day. But I don't remember doing a thing for my dad on Father's Day.

Maybe it's because Dad's meals were already made for him and he didn't like flowers and those were the only free things I knew I could do for an adult. Or maybe it's because he never really seemed to enjoy being celebrated. I don't know.

Now, my wife loves to be celebrated. She loves birthdays, Valentine's Day, Easter, and pretty much any other event where at least 5% of the population gives something to someone else. Good thing is, she likes to be on the giving end of those celebrations as well, and frankly she does a much better job of thinking of me with these events than I do thinking of her.

So my wife planned my weekend and I'm going fishing and playing golf. I haven't fished yet this year and haven't golfed in 2 years. I guess if it's the price I have to pay for being a dad, I could get into this Father's Day thing.

Time to get cracking on ideas for Mother's Day 2011...